Iraqi Youth at the Threshold of Hope

Iraqi Youth at the Threshold of Hope

(Photo by ZAID AL-OBEIDI/AFP via Getty Images)

Can America help Iraqi’s young generation to see hope?

America is, after all, the land of hope. As an Iraqi immigrant to the United States, I understand hope as the divine call to see light in life, and by God’s grace to find true happiness.

Our July 4, 1776, American Declaration of Independence proclaimed “to a candid world” that our Creator has endowed us all "with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

"We the People" of the United States are still driven by hope and divine inspiration. We thrive through challenges, and we tell stories to our children that help us maintain hope in our lives.

Iraq is the land of the civilization of ancient Mesopotamia. The people of Iraq have always been affectionate and warm. Though love for their land and its people, the present generations in Iraq have thrived though many struggles to safeguard their sovereignty against outsider influence.

As the younger generation of Iraqis are now fighting for their homeland, many cannot find hope.

Love for their homeland and for its people encourage the young Iraqis to keep fighting.

As the young Iraqis fight for their homeland, and for their unalienable rights of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," their mothers can barely live their own day-to-day lives. These mothers have nothing to offer but love for their kids to help them see the light of freedom and democracy.

Even those Iraqis who lost family members during the revolution of Iraq’s young generation that started on 1st of October 2019, and that escalated into calls to overthrow the Iraqi government, still love their country and its people, and are eager to see a better future for Iraq.

The ongoing revolution of young Iraqis currently lacks a leader who can inspire in them an even greater love of country so that these young Iraqis see hope in their fight for freedom and democracy.

What this younger generation of Iraqis need to find among themselves is a leader like Abraham Lincoln, who led the United States through the American Civil War, the country's greatest moral, cultural, constitutional, and political crisis. President Lincoln succeeded in preserving the union, abolishing slavery, and modernizing the U.S. Government.

Or the younger Iraqis could use a leader like Martin Luther King, Jr., an African-American minister and activist who became, and who still today is referred as the most visible spokesperson and leader of the American civil right movement.

How can Americans help Iraqis find their leader who can, in turn, help them see hope?

Like many other American immigrants, I am still fascinated with the image of America as the land of freedom, democracy, and hope. I have found this image embedded deeply in virtually every American citizen whom I have met, typically though education and experience of life.

Education in U.S. is not only helping to prepare our kids to have successful careers, but it encourages them to be good leaders, and education helps them to know what true leadership is and the importance of a leader’s role to make better changes in the world.

Education in America also teaches our kids the importance of critical thinking, problem solving, and following those who stand for right over wrong. Education provides a safe environment to express opinions and to help find collective sensible solutions to our day-to-day challenges.

In Iraq, there is an ongoing fresh look at education. Many Iraqi families would like to educate their kids though a private education system similar to western education. There is a demand to have future leaders of Iraq educated by American, Canadian, or other advanced education system.

As in Iraqi immigrant who lives in America now, I still love my motherland, and I am passionate about the importance of the younger generation in Iraq to have the best education possible. Iraq needs a leader who shares this passion to lead the country forward.

As the product of private higher education in America (Executive Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University), I pray that the U.S. Government, or perhaps on of the U.S. State Governments, can help bring hope to the Iraqi people by encouraging a robust private education system in Iraq. If such an Iraqi system is modeled like those throughout the 50 United States, it will bring diversity and enhancement to public forms of education in Iraq.

A private education system in Iraq will help raise the young generation’s perspectives of life and leadership and, most importantly, such an education system will reflect the greatness of Iraq’s past, including its leadership in bringing hope for a better future in different parts of the world.

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